We caught up with the previous Welsh Unsigned Award winner ahead of this month's Cardiff Comedy Festival.
The Cardiff Comedy Festival runs from 13th July to 1st August at various venues throughout Cardiff city centre and the bay.
Visit Cardiff: Describe yourself in three words.
Jordan Brookes: Vulnerable. Distressing. Kind?
VC: How did comedy start for you?
JB: I started writing comedy scripts as a young chap and I then went on to make several YouTube videos portraying a character based on a previous housemate. The videos gained a lot of attention, with over 1000 hits and I sent them to the BBC. They then suggested that the character would work better as a live performance and so it served as a lauchpad into stand up comedy.
VC: Have you always been funny?
JB: Yes. I was always the “funny guy” at school. But I wouldn’t say I was naturally funny. My dad was charistmatic, I’m more self-deprecatng.
VC: What type of comedian are you?
JB: It changes all of the time. At the moment I would say I’m “absurdist autobiographical”. Personal but indirect.
VC: Do you write every day?
JB: No, I don’t. I find writing very clinical. To me, jotting down a sentence is so far removed from performance. I once used an empty office space (as in phsyically used it) to brainstorm ideas. I rolled around and made stupid faces, making a note of what worked as I went along. It was really productive! I came up with lots of things which I still use today.
VC: Do you practice your routine a lot?
JB: No, I don’t practice. I don’t like to be in control of where the laughs are coming from. The audience dictates the way the comedy is going and you can’t be in control of that.
VC: When you feel a gig is going badly, how do you cope with it?
JB: If it’s not going well, I stop doing the material immediately and think, OK what can I do now? I was doing a gig at the New Theatre recently and in the middle of the show I stopped and asked the audience, “well what do you find funny?” They replied with Del boy falling through the bar. So I recreated that scene as Del Boy with a member of the audience portraying “Trigger” and spent ten minutes working up to it. It was great.
VC: Did the Welsh Unsigned Awards help your career?
JB: I suppose it did. After I won I certainly received more gigs, so I guess it made the Promoters pay attention. Plus the prize money of £1000 and a paid weekend gig at The Glee is as good as it gets for comedy competitions. However in the long run competitions are rarely indicative of how well you’re going to do in your professional career.
VC: You’ve performed at Machynlleth Festival. How do festival performances differ to your usual stand-up venue?
JB: Well Machynlleth Festival is exclusively comedy, so that’s a little different altogether as no one is allowed to review the performances. Machynlleth is a lovely little bohemian version of Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival. But in terms of festival performances as a whole, I’ve performed at Greenman for the last 4 years and the difference is that people who attend are actually interested in the comedy they’ve come to see as opposed to your typical venue.
VC: What’s your opinion on the Welsh comedy scene?
JB: Horrible bunch. Really obnoxious and self-entitled. There’s not a dartboard big enough for all their faces, and no dart sharp enough to inflict the damage I want to do to every last one of them.
VC: Who’s your favourite comedian who you’ve worked with?
JB: Payton Quinn. She’s so inspiringly raw and personal. She plays with what you are and aren’t allowed to say on stage. It’s a really unique perspective which she has. I think she’s one to watch.
VC: If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring comedians, what would it be?
JB: As an aspiring comedian myself, I’m in no position to be offering advice. But something I’ve learned in the last year or so is to embrace failure. Enjoy not doing well sometimes. You deserve to feel that way.
The Welsh Unsigned Awards 2015 will be held at the Glee Club on Thursday 23rd July. For a full itinerary of The Glee’s upcoming shows click here